A Difficult Journey: Infertility- My IUI Journal Part 1

  

I decided to stop sharing weekly about our infertility journey as we approached “go time” for our intrauterine insemination or IUI. I just wanted to keep it as low key as possible and I thank you all of you for being so understanding about it. Now that I am ready to share here is my day by day or more like doctor appointment by doctor appointment journal from our IUI process.

Preface: I started taking follistim and metformin on Monday, September 21st. My follistim injection was 50Ius every night. I took metformin every other day for 5 days then started taking it daily over the weekend. At this doctors appointment I had about 20 tiny follicles in my right ovary and about 15 tiny follicles in my left ovary. My doctor started my follistim does off smaller than he normally does to prevent me from growing 5 large follicles, after all we aren’t after 5 babies just one. šŸ™‚ If 5 follicles were to stimulate we would have to stop all work toward this round of IUI. At the end of this appointment I made a follow up for Monday September 28th.

Monday, September 28th: I shared a little about that visit here. The little details that I left out were this, I have one follicle that measured at 13mm and they want it to be at 20 mm before IUI. I had been taking 500mg of metformin every night and 50IUs of follistim. I had blood drawn so they could check many things but especially my estrogen level. When they had the results of my blood work they decided to up my follistim to 75IUs in order to get the follicle ready by the weekend! I was so excited I was basically dancing out the door and everywhere for the remainder of the day! I mean seriously how can I not be excited about this, it could mean that our difficult journey is over. It could also mean that we are learning a lot about how my body works and we can be better prepared for the next round. Staying realistic here. I made a follow up appointment for Thursday October 1.

Thursday, October 1st: I’m back in the office for another ultrasound of my ovaries and my uterus as well as more blood work. I’m all smiles because I’m super excited. My uterine lining was not quite as thick as they wanted it to be but it was really close. My follicle had also gone up to 17mm! That means its go time! I got my instructions for the next few days. Tonight I do my last injection of follistim, Friday night I will have my trigger injection in my butt at 10pm (I have happy faces on my upper butt hip area to direct where the injection is supposed to go), Saturday we just enjoy ourselves, Sunday Andrew has to take his semen sample in at 9am and I will go in at 10am for the insemination, Monday we will repeat the same process. Then we wait to see if it worked.IMG_0270

How am I feeling: I feel like I am incredibly constipated but I’m not. It’s the activity in my ovaries. It hurts to wear jeans and even my workout pants are uncomfortably tight. I have been having some serious mucous discharge which is normal and expected. I have some serious tightening feelings going on in my uterus/ovaries. I can tell exactly where each ovary is and there is no question that they are both growing those follicles. I can also tell that the right one has the biggest follicle, it is more “sensitive” I guess I could say.

Sunday, October 4th: Andrew took his sample to be washed at 9am. Now I’m at the office waiting for the doctor to arrive and holding the gorgeous specimen (that’s what the lady called it) that will be injected into me. It’s funny how this is funny. It’s kind of like a right of passage, one of those little sperm in there could be what makes our baby! As Andrew said, you are holding half of our future kid! I can’t even see anything in there it just looks like light purple water.

So now I wait. Anxiously and impatiently! By the time my doctor finally arrived 30 minutes later, so much for time sensitive, I was relaxed. It wasn’t the most painful procedure but I would say it was an uncomfortable one. He had to navigate past my c-section scar which was a little more work for him and pain for me. When he did the actually insemination I couldn’t feel a thing. That part took seconds. Then I laid there on the table with my legs up and played on Pinterest.

Tomorrow same thing all over again!

Monday, October 5th: Here at the doctor again waiting my turn. I’m excited and nervous all over again. I am a little more relaxed about the actual process this time since I know what’s going to happen. I’m still nervous though. I mean I just heard them say my name and I got a little excited. Thankful for a very funny conversation with a good friend as I made my way to the doctor this morning. Laughter is good for the soul no matter the situation!

Today was painless. They asked if I was okay and I was so confused why. I didn’t hardly feel a thing! He said it was because his angle was much better today than yesterday. My wonky uterus was just tilted the right way today. He said it’s possible that yesterday one of my ovaries had slipped behind my uterus and today everything was in a more workable position.

Today when they asked me to verify that in fact that was my husbands name on the side of the specimen we joked about the importance of getting it right. (It was his!) Also that men’s handwriting is much worse normally than women’s! Seriously the people at my doctors office make this so much easier! I’m so thankful for them! Still hopeful that the egg inside that big follicle was a good one!

Friday, October 9th: I feel better today than I have all week. I actually made it through the day without taking a nap! I have taken at least an hour nap every day this week. The only thing I did differently today was just sit at home and fold laundry instead of trying to go out and do anything. I got the hint from my body to slow down so I did. I am going out of the house tonight for an Oktoberfest party with my boys but I rested up all day so I should be fine.  

I’ve been reading a lot of things about how women feel after having an IUI and I can pretty much relate to all of those symptoms and feelings. For anyone who is about to have an IUI or considering it I decided to break it down by days past IUI (dpIUI). It will be helpful for me too as I continue this two week wait!

 

  • 2nd IUI day- complete emotional meltdown at the end of the day.
  • 1dpIUI- a little bit of cramping, extreme exhaustion
  • 2dpIUI- extreme exhaustion
  • 3dpIUI- extreme exhaustion, light pain on the right side but seemed more like a muscle pain
  • 4dpIUI- light cramping on right side more like ovary cramping than muscle, more energy than previous days this week
  • 5-8dpIUI- completely aware of the exact location of my right ovarie, exhaustion, swinging through every PMS symptom there is
  • 9-10dpIUI- same feelings as previous days with the only addition being breast enlargement (my boobs only get large fast when one thing is happening, my period which is hind site now that those days have passed)
  • 11dpIUI- major cramping followed hours later by the start of my period/bleed. I’m not talking spotting either, I’m talking full flow. Bring on the tears, defeat, sadness, frustration, etc. I called the doctors office to let them know that I won’t be coming in on Tuesday for my blood test after all because I see no point. Unless if they call back before then I won’t be going in.

Friday, October 16th: I was having a lot of intense cramping and then it came. The hope shattering period. If I said I handled it well I would be lying. As hard as I tried not to get my hopes up I was so ready for this journey to come to an end. I knew as soon as I felt that first gush that the IUI hadn’t worked. It was a long day. Andrew and I were both pretty(really) bummed about it. I have the best husband and friends ever though! My friend Stephanie showed up at my door with ice cream and flowers and most importantly a hug. Andrew came home from work a little earlier than normal with flowers too. (They are both so pretty still almost two full weeks later!) I tried to make sure that everyone who knew the IUI took place knew that it didn’t work and also informed our parents that we had done the IUI and that it didn’t work. Let me say that one more time, this round didn’t work. I was done. Defeated. Hopeless. Frustrated. Extremely emotional.

  

 

Tuesday, October 20th: All day long I was expecting a phone call from my doctors office because my nurse was going to be back in the office from her vacation. She called and I held it together while talking to her about our next steps and decisions we have to make. When I got off the phone I decided that I could have done without hearing some of the percentage facts she shared with me and that one of her 5 girls that went through the IUI was successful. I know that she had her reason for sharing that information and I get it now but that day I hated hearing it. I took a few minutes to be sad or emotional in whatever way I needed before I pulled myself back together and got on with life. I thought a little about her instructions for us to try on our own this month. I held onto this “sex every other day for the remainder (if/until your next cycle starts) will keep sperm in your fallopian tubes. Don’t take any ovulation test, that will increase the stress. We know your body is working. Call me if you don’t start in 32 days or call me when your next cycle starts and we will set up for the next round of IUI if you are ready. Hang in there.” I’m not going to even get into the sex every other day thing but I do have a post in the works on that. Stress. Anxiety. Defeat. Questioning everything.

As the days have passed I have become a little less emotional about it not working. I have also constantly reminded myself that the odds were not in our favor (1 in 4 IUIs are successful) but it was worth it to try. After all if it would have worked the money we spent wouldn’t seem like a big deal at all. Every time I think I’m completely over the fact that round one was not successful I realize that its easier to discuss with some people than it is with others. The true peace with it is coming though and my hopefulness is being restored. I went all the way from “screw all this” to “lets keep trying” in a few weeks. Now that brings us to today Thursday, October 29th. We are in the midst of trying on our own. I’m hopeful, and nervous, and anxious, and full of a million different emotions but most of all I’m okay.

I’m working on myself and accepting that sometimes things don’t always turn out the way you thought they would. I’m working on changing that image that I hold in my heart of my family of 4 to the image that I see daily of our beautiful family of 3. I’m working on getting my head and my heart in the same place. I’m loving my family hard and fierce. I’m holding onto hope and trying to live in the here and now more. I’m trying not to focus on the what to do next but instead on the what to do now. I’m being the best mom, wife and friend I know how to be. I’m more than okay, I’m absolutely perfect in my own way and exactly how I should be at this point in our journey. I’m very sure that tomorrow I will be even better and better each day after that. I’m feeling like my season of growth and expansion is here. It is here for a reason and although I don’t clearly see that reason yet, I will. So with no end dates set and no exact plans on what to do next we go on and that feels both freeing and scary. Answers and understanding will come along with peace and a renewed happiness.

Thank you all for understanding my need to process this before sharing and for allowing me to share it with you now. Thank you for reading and for all the love and prayers that are constantly coming our way. 

I’m off to have a fantastic Thursday with my boy who stayed up entirely too late last night watching world series game two. I hope you have a fantastic day too!

 

 

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